When the economic outlook is rough, consumer behavior most definitely changes. For businesses concerned about their bottom lines, dwindling sales can have far-reaching ramifications. However, businesspersons should not commit themselves to doom and gloom just because the economy is dragging. Here are some ways you can actually increase sales in a struggling economy.
Straight discounts are fantastic when the economy is in a rough patch. For example, retailing institutions such as Wal-Mart typically see significant sales increases when the economy is in a downturn. This is because consumers are being significantly more judicious when it comes to purchases. The only way to take advantage of newfound consumer stinginess is to offer discounts on certain products.
2. Luxury and Necessity Good Placement
The first thing consumers in financially tough times will do is cut out luxury goods. If your business markets these types of goods, then this is definitely not welcome news. However, one way to work on increasing the sales of luxury items is to place them close to necessity items in the store. Many luxury items are impulse buys, so while customers may still be hesitant, they will at least see the products and be more inclined to decide to buy them.
3. Add More Workers
One of the biggest things to slow down sales during a busy time is to have too few people working. In tough economic times, it’s tempting to try to cut back hours and save money, but the money you’ll be losing will be more. Remember, though, if some in your workforce is not pulling his or her weight, don’t add someone new just to make up for it.
4. Special Promotional Offers
If people are being more judicious in their expenditures, then they want better deals. Special offers, such as “buy one, get one free,” can do wonders to draw consumer interest. Offering discounts for certain purchases based on quantity or total cash spent is great for motivating consumers to make more purchases.
Everyone likes free stuff. Having a giveaway can do wonders to increase store numbers. If a business had a special giveaway regularly, then overall customer numbers would likely increase. Make sure that whatever you decide to give away will entice new customers to start making purchases.
6. Celebrity Endorsements
If your business has the ability to pay for Celebrity Endorsements, why not consider it? Local celebrities are still celebrities, so endorsements can be just as effective. Nothing can help increase brand awareness quite like the local college’s football coach, or everyone’s favorite public access TV star.
7. Local Commercials
If you can get local stars, then local commercials would be the natural progression of things. In all seriousness, local commercials can be a fantastic investment even for a large company, because of an excellent targeted consumer base. In a dragging economy, consumers become more demanding and want to know what you offer especially for them. Local commercials are a great way to get such a message out. Just make sure you don’t make an awful local commercial.
8. Make it a “Must Have”
If you find less of your product is flying off the shelves in a bear market, and then you need to make your product a “must-have.” Companies like Apple Computer are still able to have solid sales in rough economic climates because their products have the “cool” factor. They become “must-haves” because Apple is able to bridge the gap between needs and wants.
9. Longer Hours of Operation
When sales are in decline, one great way to rectify this is to lengthen the hours of operation. If you are open for longer hours, then you should see an increase in sales. It’s amazing how many businesses fail to take advantage of sales opportunities simply because of an adherence to hours.
10. Go Online
If you’re attempting to make sales, and you don’t have an online facet to your businesses, you’re missing out on great opportunities. Increase sales by making a website. Giving consumers the ability to shop online can do wonders to increase sales. Make sure your website is easy to use and customer-friendly. The more ways potential customers can access your products, the more opportunities there are to make a sale.
11. Go Green
Concern for the environment is at an all time high in this day and age. Businesses with a social consciousness who are concerned about the future of the planet will definitely enjoy positive PR. So, if you are noticing that sales are taking a nosedive, it can be a fantastic idea to revitalize your business by going green. Believe it or not, investing in energy efficient lights, recycling, and fuel-efficient technologies can do wonders for your bottom line.
12. Go Global
If you need any proof that today’s business world is truly global, look no further than the stock markets. When one country’s market is in decline, other countries’ markets will soon follow. The best way to combat this is to make sure your investment in every market you can be. You can increase sales simply by widening your consumer base. That way, when tough economic times abound, you’ll have more customers in more places around the world, which leads to a greater chance of not having any sales declines.
13. Advertise Online
Having a website is great, but actually advertising online coupled with having a website is even better. Google AdWords is an excellent way to promote your website and increase your sales with a positive ROI. Having an online presence can help, but it is much more helpful to be an industry leader when it comes to online enterprises.
14. Word of Mouth
Some of the most loyal customers come directly from word of mouth. The best way to generate word-of-mouth buzz is by having high quality service coupled with effective ad campaigns. Word of mouth is the trustworthiness type of advertising. Essentially, this means that your biggest sales increases will come if people decide to tell their friends and family about your business.
Some areas are simply more economically sound than others. If you find that your sales are dwindling significantly, then it’s a good idea to consider relocation. Moving into a bigger market, or a less competitive market can do wonders for the bottom line of any business. Moving is not an admission of defeat, but rather, an affirmation of a willingness to have success, even if success comes at the cost of leaving one’s comfort zone.
Increasing sales is more difficult to do in a sluggish economy, but it is not impossible. These few ideas have the potential to do wonders for any sales numbers. However, it’s always important to realize when your product has reached its limitations. Remember, it’s never a bad idea to start thinking about different ways to generate revenue since sales can be quite variable.